Family Self-Care and Exercise in the Time of Social Distancing

By Bryan B. RSS Wed, May 13, 2020

This is the 3rd in an ongoing series of self-care blog-posts. I’m not a professional healthcare worker. I’m simply someone that practices self-care in his daily life and for whom self-care is an important element. If you need professional help, please get the help you need. Below are some ways of getting help. I’ve gotten help before, and it made a difference.

With this series, I want to acknowledge the special challenges families are facing as a result of COVID-19 and offer some practical advice for dealing with those challenges. But before we get to that, let’s take a moment to check-in with ourselves. If you would like some help doing a check-in, there is a written walkthrough in my previous blog post and a video walkthrough on LEAP's Facebook page.

During this time of social distancing, we are all spending more time indoors. We are spending more time in the same house with our family. Sharing our space with our loved ones can improve our family bonds, but it can also be a source of stress.

Exercise is a fantastic way of dealing with stress, but social distancing has made us look for new ways of staying active.

Here is my suggestion for the day. Consider throwing a family dance party!

  • Dancing is a great source of exercise that can be done indoors.
  • It can be done by people of all ages.
  • The only thing it requires is music and a minimal amount of floor space.

Do you have a teenager or pre-teen / tween that loves music?
Have them create a playlist and DJ the event. Tell your teen to create a list that includes music for the whole family. Ask them about their choices:

  • This will be an opportunity for you to learn about your teen’s music tastes.
  • It will be a chance for your teen to show interest in the lives of the other family members.
  • If you have more than one child interested in music, you can have them take turns DJing or work together.

Do you have a teenager or pre-teen / tween that loves to dance?
Have them choreograph a family dance. Tell them to give each family member a special move. Ask them about their choices:

  • Again, this is an opportunity for you to learn more about your teenager.
  • This is a chance for the family to work together and bond.
  • If you have multiple children that love to dance, have them take turns making family dances or have them work together.

Here are some additional tips for a successful family dance party:

  • Remember that the goal is self-care.
    If it becomes a source of stress or family tension, don’t do it anymore. The goal here is enjoyment and exercise.
  • Keep it short.
    Ideally, everyone will have fun and want to do it again another day. Establish an end time and leave everyone wanting more.
  • Don’t upset your neighbors.
    Keep the volume at a reasonable level and have the party at an acceptable hour. Creating tension with your neighbors is not practicing self-care.
  • Have fun and participate yourself.
    You can set the tone of the whole thing by joining in and enjoying yourself!
  • Plan ahead.
    Schedule the party far enough in advance that you have a chance to talk to your teens about their music / dance choices.

If you would like some resources for music or dancing, the Free Library is here for you. Hoopla is a great resource for checking out streaming music and dance videos!

If you are struggling, please get help. Below is a list of groups that can offer that help.

  • For thoughts of suicide: National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a United States-based suicide prevention network of 161 crisis centers that provides a 24/7, toll-free hotline available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress.
    Phone: 1-800-273-8255
  • For mental health issues: National Alliance of Mental Illness NAMI Philadelphia, an affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, provides information and support to people with mental illness, their families, caregivers, and friends. All services are free.
    Phone: 267-687-4381
  • For drug and substance abuse: National Drug Information Treatment and Referral Hotline has 24/7 information, support, treatment options, and referrals to local rehab centers for any drug or alcohol problem.
    Phone: 800-662-HELP (4357)

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‪Yasmin Helal‬‏ - الجيزة
Thursday, May 28, 2020